Travel companies accuse domestic airlines of fixing airfares

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, Susan Akporiaye, has accused local airlines of violating competition law by fixing airfares.

She described the domestic carriers’ alleged action as against best global practices.

She disclosed this during a press briefing in preparation for the 46th annual general meeting of the association in Kano State.

She said, “There is a circular asking all the airlines to review their fares. It is anti-competition. By fixing prices they are going against the anti-competition law, because you cannot just come and say that you are fixing prices, there should be competition; are the prices supposed to be the same?

“The law says that there should be competition and once there is competition the benefit translates to the citizens. For instance, Ethiopian Airlines is flying from Enugu, it is the only carrier there, the fares from Enugu are crazy compared to the Ethiopian Airlines’ fare from Lagos and Abuja. But guess what, if another airline flies from Enugu, the fare will drop, that is competition law.

“What the local airlines are doing is anti-competition law. The fare should not pegging because by pegging it, passengers don’t have a choice.”

Akporiaye added that the association recorded a 2.8 per cent increase in revenue in 2020. According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for the 1.2 per cent drop in the group’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product in 2020.

She said, “On the revenue, by 2020 things were down but in 2021, surprisingly things picked up so the travel agency we do a lot.

“Contributing to GDP in the aviation industry generally we are talking about two to five per cent. In 2019, the revenue was 4.5 per cent and in 2020 it dropped to 2.8 per cent.”

Article first published on the Punch Website

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